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Message to Mascot: Be a Good Sport or Else

June 02, 2002|Bill Shaikin

MINNEAPOLIS — The Angels are investigating an incident in which one of their minor league managers accosted his team's mascot--in the name of good sportsmanship.

After the Angels' Class-A Cedar Rapids affiliate completed a series sweep Friday night, the Kernels' mascot--"Mr. Shucks"--strutted around the field waving a broom.

Cedar Rapids Manager Todd Claus, offended that the mascot was showing up the opposing team, demanded that Mr. Shucks hand over the broom.

When Mr. Shucks refused, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported, Claus put the mascot into a headlock, yelled a few expletives at him, wrestled the broom away and then broke it into two pieces.

Angel minor league director Tony Reagins said Saturday he will look into Claus' actions but did not fault his motivation.

"It's a matter of professionalism," Reagins said. "It's a matter of respecting the opponent and respecting the game. You treat people the way you want to be treated."


These are happy times for baseball fans in these parts. The Twins are in first place, and local authorities are expected to sign an agreement with major league officials that guarantees the team will not be eliminated next year.

The Twins may not make as much money as teams in larger markets, but their rich history includes two World Series championships and stars such as Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett.

The Twins also are a regional team, attracting fans from Minnesota and several neighboring states.

The Angels' Darin Erstad grew up five hours away in North Dakota, and his family often drove here to visit a local theme park and see the Twins play. His 90-year-old grandfather, Harald Sandness, lives in North Dakota and would have been crushed by the team's demise.

"What would my grandpa listen to?" Erstad said. "He likes listening to the Twins on the radio. We don't call him when the Twins are on."




(4-3, 5.31 ERA)




(1-4, 4.46 ERA)

Metrodome, Minneapolis, 11 a.m. PDT

Radio--KPLS (830), XPRS (1090).

Update--Shawn Wooten strained a muscle in his side during the fourth game of his rehabilitation assignment Friday; his status is day-to-day pending follow-up evaluation. David Eckstein (sprained knee) said he would "definitely" return to his shortstop position no later than Monday.

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